The perception of movies and their marketing is changing rapidly. What is occurring is a herculean paradigm shift that will forever change movies and the way they are perceived. One of the dangers of accelerating the demise of movies is the movement to day and date release patterns by the often myopic movie studios. The internet has opened a Pandora’s box of technology which is rapidly scrubbing away the allure and mystic that movies have had for the past century. This trend has to resisted.
What is very happening is very simple, movies are becoming a utility. The technology that allows Netflix, Amazon and Hulu to provide homes with digitally enabled spigots that allows low price access to a digital tsunami of movies and television shows into homes. For $8.95 Netflix allows access to over 40,000 movie titles at no further cost, Amazon Prime offers a similar service for $90.00 per year. New series such as House Of Cards, Orange Is The New Black and Lillyhammer are being created specifically for these services and platforms and are crowding out traditional broadcast and cable television.
Because of this, movies are being re-purposed into a digital utility, no different than traditional water or sewer service. Utilities naturally become a commodity, often a commodity’s sole differentiation is price. When the studios decide to go day and date with product they place their product movies under the same light and thus their product simply becomes a commodity. No amount of advertising, no amount of coaxing a word of mouth from the public, nor manipulation of social media will equal a measured and well thought out campaign for a theatrical release.
A theatrical release for a movie is the sole way of elevating this art form into an event, a happening and will provide economic legacy as opposed to a dulling down of a movies and short window of opportunity provided by day and date. Day and date and its implementation will lead to the final nail in a cinematic coffin. Day and date must be fought at every turn, not just for the sake just of the theatrical exhibitors but for the art form as a whole.